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A Guide On How To BBQ On A Pontoon Boat

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Grilling and boating are a great combo during those hot summer days. Learn how to BBQ on a pontoon boat using this boating resource guide.

Pontoon boats have always been used for family bonding and retreat with friends. Adding to the fun is the opportunity to grill and enjoy some BBQs out on the water. Before you get that BBQ grill fired up on your pontoon make sure you’re doing it the right way.

How To BBQ On A Pontoon Boat
How To BBQ On A Pontoon Boat

What better way to enhance a leisurely boating experience in your pontoons than cooking some delicious BBQs?

With the right boat grill with your favorite meats or freshly caught fish, you can enjoy a tasty meal together with the people that you care about.

In this post, we’ll teach you the correct and safe way how to BBQ on a pontoon boat.

Can You Grill On A Pontoon Boat?

Yes, you can grill on your pontoon boat but just make sure that you follow some common-sense safety precautions.

When grilling, only use pontoon boat grills that are specifically designed and built to be installed onto your boat rails or on your pontoon anchor mount.

Can You BBQ On A Pontoon Boat?
How To BBQ On A Pontoon Boat

While it is totally legal to cook BBQs on your pontoons, coast guards and authorities will not look kindly on any form of hazard or dangerous behavior.

Please always be mindful of your surroundings and respect other boaters on the lake or river.

Another thing to keep in mind is that some marinas don’t allow boaters to grill on their boats while docked.

So before taking out and firing up that grill, make sure that you check with your local marina for specific regulations. 

Equipment For Grilling in A Pontoon Boat

Just the same as normal cooking, before grilling on board make sure you have all the equipment and accessories you need. 

Before heading out on the water, save yourself time and avoid stress by pre-chopping your veggies and marinating your meat.

You can also bring storage containers and Ziploc bags to help with leftovers and clean up after eating your meal.

How To BBQ On A Pontoon Boat?

Pontoon boats offer boaters an excellent platform for grilling on water. But to have a fun and safe time, there are some tips and necessary steps to take to ensure your grilling goes smoothly onboard.

  1. Set up and secure your grill in an open space away from flammables, electronics, and your passengers. 
  2. Never use the grill while the boat is moving.
  3. Ensure that you have read the grill’s manual for instructions.
  4. Never use gasoline or apply an unapproved accelerant to light the grill.
  5. If you have a propane grill, check gas connections before lighting.
  6. Never leave a lit grill unattended.
  7. Position that grill so that the embers or naked flames touch or fall onto the boat.
  8. Put out or turn off the grill as soon as you finish cooking.
  9. Wait until the grill is fully cooled before putting or storing it away. 
  10. Do not dump ashes or coals overboard after cooking. Cover your grill and wait until you return to shore before disposing of it.
How To BBQ On A Pontoon Boat
How To BBQ On A Pontoon Boat

While you have total control over what type of food to grill, there are some reminders to keep in mind when it comes to catching fish and grilling it on a boat. 

There aren’t many laws about whether you can grill fish in the same vicinity as where you catch them.  However, it’s generally okay to catch and grill a fish on a boat, they just have to be less than 1.5 pounds of filets per person and have to be a fish in season.

Pontoon Boat Grill

Pontoon boat grills come in three different forms- charcoal, propane, and electric. Each has its own advantage and disadvantages.

  • Charcoal grills- Provides authentic BBQ flavor compared to the other types, but produce ashes and embers that could be hazards.
  • Propane grills- Easy to set up and don’t produce ashes. But they do use a fuel source that needs extra attention and consideration.
  • Electric grills- They heat up fast and don’t have open flames. But they do require a source of A/C power which limits your cooking/grilling time.
Pontoon Boat Grills
Pontoon Boat Grills

It’s easy to understand why some boat owners have apprehensions when it comes to grilling on a boat.

Different elements like strong winds, open flame, and limited floor area mean there’s a chance for a fire to break. But with the right gear and knowledge, grilling safely on a boat is absolutely possible.

Pontoon Boat Accessories

Pontoon boats are a great way to have some outdoor family fun on the lake or a party with friends out on the open sea. Check out these practical must-have pontoon boat accessories to add to your boat for smooth sailing.

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Recommended Boating Resources


If you enjoyed this post about cooking BBQs on your pontoon, be sure to check out these14 Pontoon Boat Hacks to make your boat life easier.

And since we’re all about safety when it comes to boating, here are Boating safety tips for kids to help plan a fun and safe trip with the whole family.

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